Home seekers urged not to leave it too late to make the most of the stamp duty holiday

Home seekers are being urged not to be slow in taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday as the housing market boom continues.

Complete your transaction before Christmas

Despite recent national reports that many may not be able to take advantage of the scheme due to delays in the conveyancing process, X-Press Legal Services, property search specialists who are well versed in the conveyancing process, are encouraging local home-buyers to act quickly in order to take advantage of the holiday.

They state an average completion time of 12-16 weeks, meaning most will need to complete their transaction before Christmas to avoid the tax, with the holiday ending on 31st March 2021.

The government has temporarily increased the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland, until 31 March 2021, to help buyers who have taken a financial hit because of the coronavirus crisis and boost the property market.

The 26-office firm, which has seen a surge in demand for property searches, fears that consumers may not fully realise the timescales involved to ensure that they are able to make savings on stamp duty.

Various factors can delay the process

Ben Wheeler, of X-Press Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, comments: “The Treasury has estimated that nearly nine out of ten people who are getting on to or moving up the property ladder will make savings through the stamp duty holiday, showing its benefits for both buyers and sellers.”

“We have seen a huge increase in demand for our searches, and we’re urging home seekers not to underestimate the time it can take to complete a property transaction.  On average, the conveyancing process takes around 12-16 weeks. Whilst it is sometimes possible to get it done in as little as a month, various factors can delay the process.  Home buyers need to act soon to ensure that they can take full advantage of the stamp duty holiday which officially ends on 31 March 2021 – the sooner you start the property transaction process, the better chance you have of not paying the 3% tax.”

Ben continued: “Because of COVID-19, people have been forced to spend much more time in their homes than ever before.  Many will have found that their house is no longer the home they now need with changes in flexible working and social distancing.  Also, people have had the time to research their next property, so we’re not surprised that there has been a recent surge in search reports.”

Belvoir urge you to act now to avoid disappointment

Mortgages are taking longer to secure as lenders have a backlog from lockdown and are prioritising existing customers. As a result, it may take vendors longer to move through the house buying process than normal.

 At Belvoir, we also strongly urge anyone looking to sell their home in order to benefit from the stamp duty holiday, to start the process now – this gives you the best chance of reaping the benefits of the stamp duty holiday and for you to not end up disappointed.